Monthly Archives: February 2014

liberty news

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telecoms

 

South Korea’s KT says not to bid for stake Tunisie Telecom
South Korean telecoms firm KT said on Friday it had decided not to bid for a stake in state-owned Tunisie Telecom, but gave no reason why. KT said last year it was in an early stage of talks to buy the 35 per cent stake in Tunisie Telecom from a conglomerate owned by Dubai’s ruler.
Reuters

 

Canada blocks more spectrum for Rogers and Bell
Canada blocked a joint venture of two of the country’s biggest wireless telephone carriers from acquiring more airwaves on Thursday, sending the latest pointed message that their dominant positions would be challenged in the fight to win over consumers. The government said it had declined a request to transfer 83 wireless spectrum licenses from NextWave to Inukshuk, which is owned by Rogers Communications and BCE Inc’s Bell Canada unit.
Global Telecoms Business

 

Instant messaging should be regulated: Airtel
Instant messaging applications should be subject to some form of regulation and jurisdictions, similar to how telcos are regulated, according to India’s biggest mobile carrier Bharti Airtel. “I think we need a framework by which these companies are subjected to similar jurisdiction… because that will benefit everybody concerned,” Bharti Airtel Joint MD and CEO (India operations) Gopal Vittal said, according to PTI.
ZDNet

 

 

enterprise technology

 

British spooks nicked Yahoo webcam pictures
British spooks GCHQ nicked and stored the webcam images of millions of internet users not suspected of wrongdoing. GCHQ files dating between 2008 and 2010 state that a surveillance program codenamed Optic Nerve collected still images of Yahoo webcam chats in bulk and saved them to agency databases. According to the Guardian, webcam pictures, including substantial quantities of explicit communications, from more than 1.8 million Yahoo user accounts were taken globally.
TechEye

 

Government offers £1.5m for open data projects
The government is helping to unlock data from public bodies by awarding £1.5 million to projects as part of its Release of Data fund. The Cabinet Office investment will support organisations who want to improve their data publication as part of a government push to increase transparency. The Open Data User Group (ODUG), which acts as a bridge between the open data community and government, will collect bids for funding.
TechWorld

 

Telefonica digital to close in executive shuffle
Telefónica is to close its London-based Telefónica Digital unit in a re shuffle of top management, but will keep a UK organisation that will report directly to chief operating officer Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete, reports The Wall Street Journal. Telefónica said in a regulatory filing the move is set to simplify decision making and save costs. The operations formerly run by Telefónica Digital, which focuses on new technologies and non-traditional revenue streams , will now be run from Madrid.
Global Telecoms Business

 

 

media news

 

Amazon could have a music streaming service in the works
Amazon is reportedly working on bringing its own music streaming service to the masses. According to Re/code’s sources, Amazon is currently discussing the possibilities of a subscription streaming service with music labels. One of the sources states that negotiations are being delayed by Amazon’s attempts to get a cheaper deal for the music streaming rights.
Stuff

 

Worldwide web turns 25
Get your party pants on, people — the World Wide Web is turning 25 on 12 March. In honour of the web’s impending quarter-life crisis, the Pew Research Centre on Thursday released a survey showing just how far it has come over the years. Two and a half decades after Sir Tim Berners-Lee released the first popular Web browser Mosaic, an overwhelming 87 per cent of American adults now use the Internet — and most say it has positively impacted their life and society overall.
ITProPortal

 

Virgin offer broadband twice as fast as its rivals
Virgin Media is to launch a new ultra-fast broadband service, which it claims is twice as fast as that offered by BT and the rest of the competition. Britain’s third-biggest broadband provider, behind BT and Sky, said the new top speed of 152Mb would appeal to homes where people increasingly use multiple devices connected to the web at the same time. The 152Mb service, which will cost £37.50 without line rental, means a customer can download a TV show in 60 seconds on Virgin’s fibre-optic cable network.
Independent

As the sun sets on MWC 2014…

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Another year and another MWC under our belts. As always the show has been filled with exciting news and developments from the communications industry.

 

 

Headlines throughout the show have been heavily device focused with a number of big industry players such as Samsung, Sony and BlackBerry unveiling new handsets. However this year it was not only phones that took centre stage. Wearable devices have become an increasingly popular development for manufactures and we will no doubt all be wearing smartwatches by the end of the year.

 

In his keynote, Facebook’s CEO made some noise, when he discussed his recent decision to buy WhatsApp and announced the introduction of voice calls with the service.

 

There were some additional interesting themes this year: harmonisation of data protection laws, emerging markets, collaboration between operators, and the need for 5G development.

 

So as the dust settles, heart rates return to normal and the sun sets on Barcelona, a very well deserved pat on the back and a pitcher of sangria for all!

 

With so much activity in one week we certainly can’t wait to see where the next year in the mobile industry will take us. If the event is an indicator of the year ahead 2014 will be a busy one.

 

See you all next year!

liberty news

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telecoms

Boeing launches smartphone which self-destructs if tampered with
Boeing has unveiled a smartphone that appears to come straight from a James Bond spy movie. In addition to encrypting calls, any attempt to open the casing of the Boeing Black Smartphone deletes all data and renders the device inoperable.
The Guardian

 

 

Telefonica earnings top estimates amid cost cuts in Europe
Spain’s biggest phone company, reported fourth-quarter earnings that topped analysts’ estimates as the carrier cut costs in Europe to cope with falling revenue.
Bloomberg

 

 

IDC: Smartphone market growth blighted by mature markets, growth dropping to 6.2 per cent by 2018
Global smartphone growth is set to drop below 20 per cent this year and continue its decline until 2018 with low demand in North America and Europe fuelling the decrease. Figures from IDC show that smartphone shipments will grow 19.3 per cent in 2014 with the rate down to 6.2 per cent by 2018 – both significant drops from the 39.2 per cent decrease that was seen in 2013.
ITProPortal

 

 

enterprise technology

Google debuts online education tool Oppia to help anyone create interactive activities for teaching others
Google today launched a new online education tool called Oppia, currently an open source project with the goal of making it easy for anyone to create online interactive activities that others can learn from.
The Next Web

 

 
London leads contactless charge
New figures from WorldPay show contactless payments more than trebling (249 per cent) between 2012 and 2013 (from 12.5 million UK payments processed by WorldPay in December 2012 to 43.6 million in December 2013). There are currently 38.1 million contactless cards in circulation across the UK, making up 25.7 per cent of all credit, and debit and charge cards.
FS Tech

 

 

Simplivity brings converged infrastructure platform to UK for data centre efficiency
Simplivity – a firm specialising in converged infrastructure for cloud and virtualisation – is setting up a UK presence to better target organisations with its OmniCube hardware and OmniStack software combination, which promises to deliver a “data centre in a box” solution.
V3

 

 

media news

Greggs launches loyalty app
The new rewards app which went live nationally this week, is the first entirely digital loyalty scheme launched by a UK food-on-the go retailer that eliminates the need for customers to carry a separate loyalty card or their wallet when they shop.
NetImperative

 

 

Livefyre pushes the limits of its technology with Oscars red carpet photo boot that tweets for fans
The Academy Awards’ #MyOscarPhoto campaign, powered by Livefyre and Twitter, offers a good look at the power of Livefyre’s platform and its ability to use technology and social media to connect fans with their favourite celebrities.
The Next Web

 

 

How wearable tech is set to disrupt businesses
Wearable gadgets are set to be one of the most disruptive trends in business over the next 18 months, according to a report from Deloitte yesterday. A range of smartwatches – like Samsung’s Galaxy Fit and Sony’s Smartband – were announced this week at Mobile World Congress, and are among some of the first entries into this new category set to shake up business.
City A.M

Voices from the Pulpit!

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It’s day 3 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona! With the sun shining, the show is well under way now and whilst most of the major launches have taken place already there is still lots of news to be had!

 

 

Deutsche Telekom’s CEO, Tomotheus Hottges, called for the harmonisation of data protection laws in his keynote yesterday. Noting that in Europe there are 200 operators, compared with four in the US and four in China, he called for a more supportive regulatory environment to help the telecoms industry evolve to meet changing consumer connectivity expectations.

 

BlackBerry’s CEO, John Chen also made news by announcing two new smartphones borne from the company’s partnership with Foxconn. With a focus on the enterprise, Mr Chen also announced a new version of its BES 12 platform, an alliance with SAP and simplified pricing for corporate customers.

 

 

Speaking at the Global TD-LTE Summit, China Mobile’s CEO, Li Yue called for more cooperation amongst operators. Giving his backing to RCS he said he expected commercial RCS and VoLTE services later this year.

 

 

And continuing the theme of connectivity, European Commission vice president Neelie Kroes warned Europe that it faces being left behind once again unless it takes steps to speed up the development of 5G mobile technologies. Speaking at the show, Kroes said 5G would spur growth in the European technology industry but in order to truly flourish, cooperation was needed and not just between European governments and companies, but worldwide. However, almost in response to Kroes’ comments, the Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance (NGMN) announced the launch of its 5G initiative. The first stage of the NGMN’s 5G initiative is to be driven by its 21 operator members. The alliance will initially define use cases for 5G networks. Once operators have specified their needs, they will start in 2015 defining the architectures that can implement and deliver them.

 

 

Looking to the rest of today and tomorrow, Mobile World Live will be showing IBM CEO, Ginny Rometty’s keynote. Make sure you don’t miss it! Enjoy and until tomorrow, hasta luego!

liberty news

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telecoms

Mobile money users reach 61 million
The number of active mobile money users has grown to 61 million in June 2013 from 37 million a year earlier, according to trade body the GSMA.  It added that the number of registered mobile money accounts has grown to 203 million, up from 71 million two years earlier. 219 mobile money services are now deployed in 84 countries, growing from 179 services in 75 countries at the end of 2012.
Telecoms.com

 

 

EU focus on mobile roaming charges is ‘outdated’ says EE chief
EE’s chief executive thinks that the EU and media focus on roaming charges for using mobile phones aboard is “completely outdated” and that Europe is slipping behind on technology.  Olaf Swantee was speaking about Mobile World Congress in reaction to plans by Neelie Kroes, in charge of the European commission’s digital agenda, to abolish charges for incoming calls in other EU countries by July 2014, and all roaming charges by 2016.
The Guardian

 

 

BlackBerry CEO confirms Foxconn-made Q20 and Z3 phones
BlackBerry CEO John Chen confirmed two new phones were on their way this year. The first, codenamed “Jakarta,” but known as the Z3 will launch first in Indonesia in April before moving to other markets. It will retail for less than US$200. The second phone, the BlackBerry Q20 (which Chen dubbed “BlackBerry Classic” because of its keyboard) is designed for big business and government clients and will launch by the end of the year.
CNet

 
enterprise technology

Box boosts BYOD security in lead up to $500m IPO
Cloud storage startup Box’s enterprise security has been given a shot in the arm after it enlisted the help of the former CEO of one of the world’s most renowned security brands.  Former Symantec CEO Enrique Salem joins up as a special advisor to the startup that is working with security firms and other partners to protect corporate clients that are continuing to use smartphones and tablets more frequently in the workplace.
ITProPortal

 

 

England To Get £184m Share Of Latest UK Broadband Funds
The UK government has confirmed how it will be allocating the £250 million earmarked for superfast broadband deployment last summer.  Culture Secretary Maria Miller, announced that under the plans, England will receive £184.34 million, Scotland £20.99 million and Wales £12.11 million, with £7.24 million going to Northern Ireland.  The government hopes the money will help it reach the target of connecting 95 percent of the population to superfast networks by 2017.
TechWeekEurope

 

 

Facebook kills off its @facebook.com email addresses
Facebook has notified users of its @facebook.com email addresses that their use of those addresses will soon come to an end.  The firm has started emailing users of its bespoke email accounts to let them know that any email sent to them there will just be sent on to the original email address that they used to join Facebook in the first place.
The Inquirer

 

media news

Don’t worry, humans: Yahoo says best news crafted by real people
At MWC 2014 I managed to sit down with former Summly founder and recent A-level Yahoo hire Nick D’Aloisio. He spoke to me hot on the heels of Yahoo bringing its News Digest app to iOS device users in the UK. Edited automatically by brainy software but curated by real, live people, Yahoo’s graphically flashy mobile application apparently still needs a human touch.
CNet

 

 

LinkedIn Expands in China With Local Site Limiting Content
LinkedIn Corp. is introducing a Chinese-language website that will restrict some content to adhere to state censorship rules, expanding in a country where U.S. technology companies have clashed with the government.  The Mountain View, California-based professional social-networking company is offering a new version to provide a more localized service after more than a decade of having an English-language site there, Derek Shen, LinkedIn’s China president, said in a blog post.
Bloomberg

 

Mobile now driving 80% of Twitter traffic
New research from Nielsen published by Twitter today (24 February) to coincide with the start of the Mobile World Congress also finds that the UK is Twitter’s most mobile market in Europe.  In the UK, users are not only more mobile; they are more engaged than average Twitter users. Those who primarily use Twitter on their mobile device are 1.2 times as likely to engage daily than average users and 58% access the platform several times a day.
MediaWeek

liberty news

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telecoms

Samsung unveils Galaxy S5 with built-in heart rate monitor
Samsung’s latest iPhone rival features a heart rate sensor and fingerprint scanner that works with Paypal. The Galaxy S5 is expected to become the world’s biggest selling handset overtaking Apple’s iPhone 5S, which reclaimed the title in December. On board, the S5 boasts a 16-megapixel camera with the world’s fastest autofocus, selective focus for emphasis on the foreground or background of an image, and real time HDR for videoing in dark environments.
Metro

 

 

Deutsche Telekom to launch post-Snowden smartphone encryption app
Deutsche Telekom has revealed plans to launch a smartphone app for encryption of phone calls and SMS messages. The firm will be the first big telecommunications player to offer a “mass market-compatible product” according to Reuters. Germany has rounded on the news that the US and UK are engaged in mass surveillance of its politicians and people, and it has expressed alarm and anger and is looking into its options.
The Inquirer

 

 

EC urges mobile industry to have 5G rollout plans ready by 2015
Technology firms and governments across the world need to act together in order to speed up the arrival of 5G mobile connectivity, according to the European Commission (EC) vice president responsible for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes. Speaking at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, she said the introduction of 5G technology would help stimulate the growth of high-tech industries relying on the Internet of Things, augmented reality and smart cities.
V3

 

 

enterprise technology 

£875m needed to get UK 100 per cent online by 2020
An investment of £875 million is needed to get the UK online by 2020, according to a report by Tinder Foundation and Go ON UK. The report suggests an annual investment of £146 million will be needed over the next six years, across the private, public and voluntary sectors, to ensure the nation is 100 per cent digitally skilled. The report A Leading Digital Nation by 2020 reached the figure after using information on the profile of the 11 million people who currently do not have basic online skills, such as how to send and receive emails, use a search engine, browse the internet and complete online forms.
ComputerWeekly

 

 

MWC: Intel pledges to keep Google’s Android safe from hackers
Intel has pledged to help save Android users from malware, in a clear effort to boost interest in its latest Merrifield and Moorefield Atom mobile processors. Intel president Renee James announced the plans at the company’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) keynote in Barcelona. “This morning we’re announcing that we’re making our mobile security software offering free both from the app store and resellers. The will include device protection for Android that works in partnership with software from McAfee that blocks malware as well as enhanced security at a hardware chip level,” she said. The move will see Intel offer customers a number of security services.
The Inquirer

 

 

EU losing ground in technology innovation race
Just nine of the top 100 ICT companies worldwide are now headquartered in Europe, as a study reveals the region is losing ground due to shortages in funding and skilled labour. The Rebooting the European High-Tech Industry study, conducted by A.T. Kearney found little more than 10 per cent of global ICT revenues, from the top 100, are generated in Europe. Europe is set to lose another company from the top ICT 100 when Microsoft acquires Nokias’s devices and services division this coming Spring, leaving Europe with no representation in the top 10 list of global handset makers.
ComputerWeekly

 

 

media news

Watchdogs have ‘grave concerns’ over Netflix deal with cable giant Comcast
Consumer groups and media watchdogs on Monday expressed “grave concerns” about Netflix’s landmark pact with cable giant Comcast for improved internet service. Netflix, the world’s largest video on demand service, announced at the weekend that it had made an undisclosed payment to Comcast for direct access to the cable company’s broadband network, in order to ensure smooth delivery of its content. The deal came just 10 days after Comcast, the biggest US cable firm, announced a takeover of Time Warner Cable, the second biggest, in a $45bn deal that would hand it the accounts of 30 million cable customers. Netflix had previously accused Comcast of slowing its service in order to favour its own video-on-demand service.
The Guardian

 

 

Mark Zuckerberg Says WhatsApp Worth More Than $19 Billion Price
Facebook Inc. (FB) Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said WhatsApp Inc., which his social-media company agreed to buy last week, was “worth more than $19 billion.” The mobile-messaging startup was “a great fit for us,” Zuckerberg said at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona yesterday. “Already almost half-a-billion people love using WhatsApp for messaging and it’s the most engaging app we’ve ever seen exist on mobile by far.”
Bloomberg

 

 

HTC takes on cancer with smartphone-powered supercomputer
HTC has announced plans to harness the unused processing power in Android smartphones to create a supercomputer capable of supporting vital fields of research including medicine, science and ecology.

Currently, the fight against cancer, AIDS and Alzheimer’s, the drive to ensure every child has clean water to drink, and the search for extra-terrestrial life are all being tackled by volunteer computing platforms. HTC’s Power To Give initiative will support this effort with the processing capabilities of a global network of smartphones.
Telegraph

The movers and shakers of Mobile World Congress 2014

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It is day two of the biggest event in the mobile industry. Feet are already starting to get a little sore, dark circles are beginning to appear under eyes and heads are getting just that little bit fuzzier from all the networking parties.

 

 

The first few days of Mobile World Congress 2014 has certainly started off at the usual break neck speed. The show has already seen a whirlwind of news and high profile keynotes but it is the flurry of new devices announced that has been dominating the column inches with the latest and greatest innovations in mobile on display and vying for attention.

 

 

The Sony Xperia Z2 Android smartphone arrived on Monday supporting ultra-high-definition video recording and noise-cancelling technology as well as being dust and waterproof. Samsung followed suit by unveiling its latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5, gaining great feedback for its built-in fingerprint scanner, heart-rate detector and its ultra-fast autofocus camera. HTC also unveiled a new smartphone, the Desire 816, marketed as the device makers ‘flagship mid-range’ phone boasting a large 5.5-inch 720p display, BoomSound frontal stereo speakers and a 13-megapixel camera. ZTE didn’t want to miss out on the action either with the release of the Grand Memo II LTE. The ultra-slim handset allows users to view high quality images, HD videos and movies with a 178-degree viewing angle.

 

 

Today Blackberry got in on the act, rolling back the years with the launch of new low-cost smartphone BlackBerry Z3 and BlackBerry Q20 which are to focus on traditional features of BlackBerry devices like the tactile keyboard and trackpad. With some commentators hailing the latest Blackberry devices as the start of the company’s ‘fight back’, Nokia has chosen to launch its first Android phones just months after being sold to Microsoft. The family of Android smartphones, called Nokia X, Nokia X+ and Nokia XL, will run Android but will also have Microsoft services like OneDrive and Skype.

 

 

In other news, founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg made his first appearance at Mobile World Congress providing insight into the WhatsApp acquisition and Facebook’s vision of connecting everyone on the planet. He was almost upstaged by his latest purchase, as WhatsApp shocked everyone it seems by announcing it will soon launch a voice service in addition to its messaging application. The voice service, set to launch in the second quarter of the year, will be available on iPhones and Android devices first before being rolled out to Windows and Nokia handsets at a later date.

 

 

So as day two rolls slowly into day three (via a few diversions to the local drinking establishments) and with new announcements coming thick and fast, there is no doubt more exciting news will be created at the world’s pre-eminent mobile event.

Making the most out of Mobile World Congress

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Kicking off today in Barcelona, Mobile World Congress (MWC) is the world’s pre-eminent mobile event.

 

 

In 2013 it attracted more than 72,000 visitors from 205 countries and some of the world’s largest and most influential mobile operators, software companies, equipment providers, Internet companies and media and entertainment organisations, as well as government delegations.

 

 

Some of the industry’s biggest news breaks at the show each year, making MWC a must-attend for the media and giving them unparalleled access to everyone from the established well-known brands to exciting new start-ups. More than 3,000 international print, web and broadcast media attended the event in 2013 and still more are expected to attend this year.

 

 

However, even with this number of media in attendance, journalists are still run off their feet (in a good way). Their schedules are often booked weeks in advance with back to back briefings, while they still need to reserve time to cover breaking news. It can be tough then for companies to get their message out there, especially when they’re competing with some of the biggest names in the industry.

 

 

Liberty has been attending the event since its early days in Cannes and is well versed in making sure its clients get ‘heard’ at the event. Here are our top tips for approaching the next four days (and the post-show come down) from a media relations perspective:

 

 

  • Grow relationships – With the fanfare that comes with a large show like MWC, the underlying messages behind news and real promise of new technologies can get lost in the frenzy of press releases, demos and briefings. Use the opportunity to provide media with information that will help them weed through the noise and tell a fair and positive story on your role in the growth of the mobile industry.
  • Lead with innovation – MWC is still the pre-eminent event to showcase what new mobile technology is on the horizon.  It is the opportunity for vendors to package innovative new technology with tangible, longer-term value that will instigate consumer and enterprise IT purchases and model reasonable growth.  Demonstrate the practical application of your technology and address new and pressing challenges for the mobile industry.
  • Position spokespeople as leaders and innovators – A spokesperson can set the tone that media and analysts will grab hold of. Use briefings to not only announce news, but to show innovation, thought leadership and impact with key messages. Highlight experience, partnerships and technology evolution, as well as showing that you have your finger on the pulse of industry themes and can offer relevant comment.
  • Build on the momentum – Track trends that emerge during the show and use the time following MWC to follow up with key media and analysts with your viewpoint.

 

 

And finally, make sure you’ve booked yourself some time off for after the show – you’ll need it!

liberty news

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telecoms

Lifting the lid on the future smartphones and tablets: What to expect from Mobile World Congress 2014
Mobile World Congress 2014 began yesterday in Barcelona – lifting the lid on the smartphones and tablets you’ll be using in the future. The mammoth showfloor also features a whole host of related tech from accessories to apps and the growing convergence between mobile technology and motoring. So what can you expect to see and hear coming out of sunny Spain? Here are 10 things to watch for…
The Mirror

 

 

GSMA aims to add a billion more people to the mobile web by 2020
The GSMA aims to increase access to the web via mobile to more than 4.4 billion in next six years The GSMA today announced ambitious targets to connect an additional one billion people to the mobile internet by 2020. The target was announced by GSMA chairman Jon Fredrik Baksaas this morning (February 24) during the opening keynote at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in front of more than 2,000 people. If achieved, the number of people connecting to the web via mobile would reach more than 4.4 billion.
Mobile News

 

 

EU’s 5G plans ‘falling far short’ – Telekom Austria
Telekom Austria CEO Hannes Ametsreiter on Sunday said Europe needs a clear plan to reclaim is leading position in the telecoms industry. European telecoms regulation “just doesn’t work”, because it has left operators with insufficient margins to justify large-scale investments in new technology, he said at a press briefing on the eve of Mobile World Congress. He said initiatives by the European Commission to drive the development of new technology, such as the recently launched 5G public private partnership scheme “fall far short” of what Europe needs.
Total Telecom

 
enterprise technology

Google nets Spider.io to thwart fraudsters
Google is looking to boost the security and fraud prevention arms in its advertising business with the acquisition of London’s Spider.io. The company announced on Friday that it had agreed to terms on a deal to integrate the fraud-detection specialist into its advertising services. The company will seek to help Google spot fraud on its advertising network. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Register

 

 

Microsoft turns bosses into the NSA
Software giant Microsoft has invented tools which can turn control-freak bosses into the NSA. For a while now there has been a hole in the market for autocratic bosses who love to spy on their employees. After all they have looked at the US government looked at how they can check everything that their citizens do and said “I want some of that”. Now the friendly software maker Microsoft is allowing such bosses to set up a NSA spy network in their own companies.
Tech Eye

 

 

Government invests £1.5m in public sector open data initiatives
The government has announced a multimillion-pound investment fund for public sector organisations that release data for use in community and technology projects. The funding, which starts with an initial £1.5m investment in several open data initiatives, is led by the Cabinet Office and the Open Data User Group (ODUG), an advisory group for the access and use of public sector data. The fund will aid public sector organisations actively releasing the data, and will also go towards training existing staff to incite a “culture change” to improve the future availability of public data. More than 100 spaces have already been awarded to senior public servants who will act as ambassadors for the release of data across the public sector.
V3

 

 

media news

Why Did WhatsApp Crash?
If you’re a regular WhatsApp user you might have noticed this weekend that the service was down for long periods – not great timing, given it just announced a $19 billion deal to be acquired by Facebook. So what happened? WhatsApp founder Jan Koum on Sunday issued an apology and blamed a network router for Saturday’s outage of the mobile messaging app.
The Huffington Post

 

 

Yahoo announces UK edition of its news app
Yahoo has just made official the launch of the UK edition of its Yahoo News Digest app. Nick D’Aloisio, the former teenage CEO of the Summly and current Yahoo Product Manager after he sold the company to Yahoo, made the announcement via a press release. The iOS app will deliver the top news for UK readers two times a day and uses aggregation algorithms to generate a story based on multiple sources and which are then editorially curated.
CNET

 

 

Mobile World Congress: MasterCard deepens mobile services with in-app payment launch
MasterCard has extended its mobile payments proposition with the launch of MasterPass in-app payments, letting users make transactions from within any mobile app. The credit card giant, which unveiled the new service at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona today, has created the service to “eliminate” the need for users to store their bank card information across multiple mobile apps, providing a fast, simple payment experience. It also means users can buy items or service via one tap on their smartphones, without leaving the app environment.
The Drum

liberty news

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telecoms

Commentators confirm game’s up for SMS following Facebook-WhatsApp deal
Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp can only mean bad news for operators, according to industry watchers. The €11.7 billion deal will see WhatsApp integrated into Facebook’s wider stable of apps and services providing it with a fresh base of 450 million, typically young messaging users, including many in emerging markets.
EuroComms

 

 

Strong Vodafone puts FTSE in grasp of all-time high
Britain’s top shares advanced on Friday, led up by strong gains from index heavyweight Vodafone, as analysts bet the FTSE 100 could hit a new record high in the near term. Vodafone rose 2.8 per cent to 235.95 pence, with BofA Merrill Lynch and UBS highlighting the potential for the British firm to become a bid target after it completes the sale of its stake in U.S. mobile phone company Verizon Wireless.
Reuters

 

 

Virgin Media adds another 10 stations to London Underground WiFi network
Virgin Media has rolled out WiFi to another 10 stations on the London Underground network as connectivity in the capital continues to improve. The new stations are West Hampstead, Finchley Central, Leytonstone, Wanstead, White City, Leyton, Newbury Park, Plaistow, Finchley Road and Upton Park. It brings the total number of stations with the service to 131 and means customers with O2, Vodafone and EE can all get online for free when travelling underground in the capital.
V3

 
enterprise technology

eBay snaps up PhiSix, a virtual fitting room startup
Good news, tech-savvy fashionistas. Shopping for clothes on eBay could soon become a more lifelike experience. The auction site this week announced it has acquired PhiSix Fashion Labs, a computer graphics company that has developed technology that lets you virtually try on clothes to see how they’ll fit, look, and move in real life. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
ITProPortal

 

 

Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity looking for CRM software solution
Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSHCC) is looking for a supplier to provide customer relationship management (CRM) software, a public tender has revealed. The Official Journal of the European Union notice states that the charity is looking for CRM software vendor(s) and implementation partner(s) to supply and implement an appropriate CRM system, hosting and maintenance solution.
Computing

 
UK leads global IT multi-sourced outsourcing
UK organisations have topped the list of the global multi-sourced IT outsourcers, with only six per cent of local outsourcing contracts were exclusively single source, a new report noted. According to the research of Global 2000 companies from Information Services Group (ISG), the UK adopted the practise of multi-sourced outsourcing at nearly four times the rate of US organisations.
CBR Online

 

media news

Amazon takes on Netflix with rebrand of LoveFilm video-on-demand service
Amazon is hitting back at Netflix in the UK by rebranding its LoveFilm video-on-demand service. LoveFilm, bought out by Amazon three years ago in a deal worth nearly £200m, will be folded into the online retailer’s British website next week, creating a one-stop service for digital streaming, DVD rental and books. “Consumers will be able to shop for what they want, read what they want and watch they want anywhere at any time,” said Tim Leslie, vice-president of Amazon Instant Video for the UK and Germany.
The Guardian

 

 

Quarter of UK will use Twitter by 2018
UK Twitterers are expected to skyrocket from just three in ten social network users in 2012, to 47.1 per cent in 2018, reports eMarketer. This will be just over a quarter of the entire population and 31.9 per cent of all UK Internet users. Younger generations aged up to eleven are still growing at a steady rate – Whereas those aged between 12 and 44 has slowed significantly.
Mobile Entertainment

 

 

Next-gen smartphone uptake drives mobile video usage
A global study by BBC World News and BBC.com/news has revealed the impact of mobile advertising on affluent consumers, with improved technology enabling greater engagement with content. The study surveyed 6,000 smartphone owners in Australia, Germany, Sweden, India, Hong Kong and the US, comparing the habits of the highest 20 per cent income earners in each country to those of the general population.
Rapid TV News

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telecoms

T-Mobile offers insulted BlackBerry users a special deal
After T-Mobile’s poorly received promotion intended to tempt BlackBerry users to switch to new iPhones, the company is doubling down on its commitment to the dwindling but passionate Blackberry faithful — to the tune of hundreds of dollars. The deal is this: Bring in your working BlackBerry handset to any T-Mobile store and get $200 off any phone there. If you’re on T-Mobile and you want a new BlackBerry, you get an additional $50 off. If you’re not on T-Mobile, then you still can trade in the phone, and your early termination fees will be taken care of.
NBC News

 

Deutsche Telekom and Orange connect to RCS hub
Operator groups Deutsche Telekom and Orange have signed up to an RCS hub from cloud communications firm Jibe Mobile, enabling interoperability between RCS and Joyn services hosted by third parties as well as in-network deployments. Jibe said that operators typically have two basic options when deploying RCS services. They can base the service on their own IMS infrastructure or they can use a hosted service.
Telecoms.com

 

Gionee announces world’s thinnest smartphone
A show like Mobile World Congress is a lot more focused than the likes of CES. While the latter is more of an ‘anything goes’ kind of affair, MWC is all mobile, so companies have to try harder to stand out. To that end, we are expecting next week to bring a lot of ‘firsts,’ ‘biggests’ and ‘smallests.’ Kicking things off is Chinese company Gionee with what it’s claiming is the world’s thinnest smartphone.
Tom’s Hardware
enterprise technology

Microsoft rallies partners in government open standards debate
Microsoft’s UK chief has written an open letter to the company’s partners encouraging them to support the software giant’s stance against government proposals for open document standards. Michel Van der Bel, area vice-president for the UK, urged the Microsoft community to respond to the government consultation that closes on 26 February.
ComputerWeekly

 

IBM and AT&T develop Internet of Things solution
IBM has teamed up with AT&T to combine analytic and security technologies for the Internet of Things (IoT) market.The alliance will target city governments and midsize utilities as they integrate and analyse data using mass transit vehicles, utility meters, and video cameras. AT&T’s VP for Advanced Solutions, Chris Hill, said the collaboration will help deliver a more connected planet.
CBR Online

 

Banks haven’t got their heads round big data yet, says EY
Despite being an early adopter of high-volume processing, data-warehousing and analytics, the financial sector is largely behind the curve when it comes to utilising big data technologies. That’s according to Robert Toguri, partner at EY Enterprise Intelligence Services. Speaking at a CODE_n press event on big data start-ups in London, Toguri said that since the 2008 crash and the tighter regulations that followed, the financial sector has being looking inward, overly focused on ensuring its internal data is compliant with the rules.
Computing

 

media news

 

Hour of code campaign tops one million
More than one million students have signed up to a new scheme aimed at getting more people interested in computer coding. The Hour Of Code campaign was launched in the UK less than two weeks ago and is already a hit in schools and classrooms. It is the biggest ever initiative to give students in primary and secondary schools, and their parents, the opportunity to experience coding for at least 60 minutes. The campaign will culminate in a week-long focus on coding between March 3 and 9.
Sky News

 

Warner eavesdrops on your Shazam requests to find hits
Warner Music Group is getting smart about looking for breakout artists. Today, the old-school record label revealed it has entered a rather clever partnership with Shazam, maker of the popular smartphone app that helps people identify unfamiliar songs. Through the deal, Warner will gain access to Shazam data that describes what songs people are listening to, and using this data, Warner will seek to identify break-out artists.
Wired

 

Study finds content theft is ‘big business’
Content theft sites made nearly a quarter of a billion dollars last year from advertising on rip-off sites, according to a new report – Good Money Gone Bad: Digital Thieves and the Hijacking of the Online Ad Business – from the Digital Citizens Alliance, a consumer-oriented coalition focused on educating the public and policy makers on the threats that consumers face on the Internet. According to the study, the 30 largest sites that profit exclusively from advertising dollars by pushing stolen movies, music, and television programmes will each make more than
Advanced Television

Hungry in Barcelona? We know the feeling.

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Picture this.

You’ve had a long day at the Congress. Your feet hurt (note to the ladies: take flat shoes!). You grabbed lunch between meetings. You need a long/soft/stiff drink to recharge your batteries ahead of the party-filled night ahead.

 

The Liberty team knows that feeling well and nothing is worse than searching in vain for a good restaurant when you’re hungry and with limited time before you’re due to hit the dance floor. So, if you’re stuck in the city or working late at the Fira, here’s some of our restaurant suggestions to help you stay fed and watered while making the most of the busiest mobile show of the year:

 

Els Pescadors – Selling itself on seasonal produce and as suggested by its name, Els Pescadors brings in fresh fish from the markets of la Platgeta, Arenys y Vilanova, Esteve Montes del Poblenou y Oscar (el Baleta) every day. It tries to keep alive old traditions while bringing in modern touches too.

 

Cuines Santa Caterina – Located in the brand new Santa-Caterina’s market – renovated by top architects Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue of EMBT – Cuines is perfect for either larger or fussier groups. The name ‘Cuines’ nods to the restaurants four different kitchens and with a choice of Asian, Meditteranean, Italian and Vegetarian fare there really should be something for everyone.

 

Bar Mut – While we probably can’t recommend this as the cheapest option in Barcelona, there’s no denying that it’s tapas is superior to many other restaurants in the city and including options like carpaccio of sea urchin and fried eggs with foie. With an ineffably Gallic feel, etched glass and bronze fittings, it’s definitely an experience you’ll remember in weeks and months to come.

 

Spiral – Almost directly opposite the Fira, Spiral offers its diners reinvented Spanish cuisine with impeccable service to match. While there’s no doubt it will be packed during the week of Congress, it is the perfect venue for lunch meetings, working dinners or a relaxed evening meal before the night ahead.

 

Casa Varela – A traditional family-run restaurant near the South entrance, Casa Varela gets great reviews from Spanish locals. The menu offers a mixture of local and European cuisine and while the owners don’t speak perfect English , they are used to hosting corporate events and visitors from the Fira Gran Via and provide a service to meet that need.

 

Granja Elena – Described by some as the best restaurant in the area, Granja Elena has the atmosphere of a small local bar but offers truly fantastic Catalan dishes. Ingredients are all sourced locally but as this is a small venue – 28 seats only – reservations are absolutely essential.

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telecoms

Samsung Galaxy S5 might come with a fingerprint sensor
Folks excited to buy a Galaxy S5 so they can authenticate with their eyeballs and feel like Ethan Hunt might be in for a disappointment. According to Sammobile, Samsung’s upcoming flagship will come with a fingerprint sensor — one that’s embedded on the home button à la iPhone 5S. If this report is true, however, that’s about the extent of the scanners’ similarities, as S5’s is supposed to be markedly different and more sophisticated.
Engadget

 

 

FCC complaint claims AT&T is overcharging for calls to collect user location data
United Stated telecom AT&T has been accused of fraud in a recent filing with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), alleging that the company overcharges its customers for calls in order to gather their location data. The complaint was submitted by William Fogal, who alerted The Inquirer to the report. It alleges that the US telecoms company overcharges its customers when they make calls on its Go-Phone prepaid offering, thanks to an alleged loophole in its data collecting Hemisphere scheme.
The Inquirer

 

 

Intel to release Haswell refresh early
There is a Digitimes  rumour coming out of Taiwan which suggests that there will be sooner-than-expected Haswell CPU refresh by Intel. The 22nm Haswell family, which debuted in June 2013, will reportedly get 20 new desktop and mobile models added next month. Citing its motherboard makers sources in Taiwan, Digitimes claims that the Haswell refresh would be timed with the release of new Intel 9-series chipset-based motherboards, also due out this Spring.
TechEye

 

 

enterprise technology

Study finds cost savings from cloud shift
Organisations fully utilising cloud computing save on average more than 15 per cent in IT spending, whether measured as a percentage of revenue or on a per-user basis, according to a report from Computer Economics. A more detailed analysis of respondents’ IT spending mix shows that the savings come not only from a reduction in data centre spending but also in IT personnel costs.
TechWeek Europe

 

 

Zoom out for a view of malware, say boffins
One of the reasons malware gets past corporate defences is that a single HTTP request can look perfectly innocent. However, according to research to be presented at a security conference next week, those requests reveal themselves if the defender takes a “big picture” view. According to research to be presented at the Internet Society’s Network and Distributed System Symposium, at a very large scale, the HTTP requests issued by users who make the mistake of clicking on a malware link become easy to identify – even without having to analyse the content of the HTTP content downloaded.
The Register

 

 

A closer look at why you should stay on top of software patches
Let’s face it, software isn’t perfect. It’s bad enough that bugs in the code occasionally make a game crash just when you were about to defeat the final boss and finish the level. What’s worse is that hordes of cyber-criminals are constantly seeking far more serious flaws in operating systems and other software, vulnerabilities that will let them steal your passwords, install malware, and generally give you grief. The bad guys find a hole, the good guys release a patch, and you, the user, had darn well better install that patch.
ITProPortal

 

media news

 

BBC World Service to launch teenage news bulletin
The BBC World Service is developing a global version of Radio 1’s teenage news bulletin Newsbeat as part of an £8 million attempt to gain a younger overseas audience. Peter Horrocks, the BBC’s director of global news, will tell staff on Tuesday that radio will remain the bedrock of the World Service, which sits alongside the BBC’s World News television channel and BBC News online. But Horrocks will outline a range of new investments, including an African edition of the BBC News website and video news bulletins for Burma. World Service strands such as Witness will be turned into multilingual video brands and its programmes will be made available internationally on iPlayer.
The Guardian

 

 

Microsoft Windows Phone named official mobile partner of the 2014 NME Awards
Microsoft Windows Phone has penned a deal to become the official mobile partner of the NME Awards 2014, sponsoring the Best British Band category at the awards ceremony. The deal, brokered by UM London, sees Microsoft Windows Phone’s partnership extend across NME’s print, digital, social and event properties, including backstage access for fans connect to the even through social media.
The Drum

 

 

Macmillan uses Instagram tags to create ‘choose your own adventure’ game
Macmillan Children’s Books has adopted an innovative use of Instagram’s tagging feature to create a “choose your own adventure” game to promote the new release “Thirteen”. In the game, Instagram users become the book’s “hero” and navigate around the app by clicking on the tags that appear in photos. The tags take the user to a new profile – such as “you_keep_still” or “you_fight_back” – where the narrative continues and opens up more options for users to explore for the chance to win a range of prizes.
Marketing Week

liberty news

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telecoms

Vodafone bags spectrum licences in India for £1.9bn
Vodafone India has announced this morning that it has secured mobile spectrum licences for £1.9bn. The mobile giant said its Indian business was awarded the licenses in 11 telecom circles, in the Indian government’s 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum auction. The deal will allow Vodafone India to roll out 4G services and boost 3G services in key cities like Mumbai, Dehli and Kolkata. It’ll pay £540m this current financial year and the remainder in instalments, starting in 2017.
CityAM

 

 

6bn connected devices to be made in 2014
The global market for connected devices that allow users to access the Internet is set to surpass 6 billion units this year, as new products including mobile phones, tablets and computers enter the electronics ecosystem, according to a report from IHS Technology. Worldwide production of connected equipment will amount to 6.18 billion units this year, up a solid 6 per cent from 5.82 billion in 2013. This will be the largest increase for the market in four years.
Advanced Television

 

 

HTC to ramp up product launches, marketing in 2014
HTC said this year it will launch more products at more price points and continue to ramp up its marketing efforts in a bid to reverse its ailing fortunes. “We will have more products to show this year,” Peter Frolund, vice president of U.K., Nordic and partner markets at HTC, told Total Telecom this week.
Total Telecom

 

 

enterprise technology

Sandisk announces world’s fastest memory card for 4K video
Memory card maker, Sandisk, has announced what it claims is the world’s fastest SD card. The snappily titled Sandisk Extreme Pro SDHC/SDXC UHS-II Card offers up to 250MBps data transfer speed in burst mode and 280MBps under optimum conditions.
The Inquirer

 

 

Tesco hit by cyber attack as thousands of passwords leaked
A list of more than 2,000 Tesco customers’ email addresses and passwords were posted online yesterday after the grocer’s website came under a cyber attack. Tesco has deactivated the accounts of the customers whose details were posted on a text-sharing site, the BBC reported. Attackers had used the details to steal Tesco vouchers from shoppers. The details were reported to have been taken from other stolen data and then used on Tesco’s website. In 2,239 cases the same credentials had been used.
Retail Week

 

 

Apple Mac Pro shipping date pushed back
Apple has pushed the shipping date for its Mac Pro high performance computer back to April. The cylindrical device first went on sale on 19 December 2013 but quickly sold out with the shipping date pushed back initially to 30 December then into February and later March. The problem first manifested on the Apple Store websites of several territories outside North America, including the UK, France and Germany.
ITPro UK

 

 

media news

Facebook adds more gender options for LGBT equality
One of the world’s most popular websites is taking a huge step toward gender equality: Facebook has announced the addition of customisable gender terms. The social network’s users now have the freedom to identify themselves as a female, male, androgynous, bi-gender, intersex, gender fluid, or transsexual. “When you come to Facebook to connect with the people, causes, and organizations you care about, we want you to feel comfortable being your true, authentic self. An important part of this is the expression of gender, especially when it extends beyond the definitions of just ‘male’ or ‘female,'” the company wrote on its Diversity page.
ITProPortal

 

 

Flappy Bird digital memorial celebration marks Game Over for hit title
Gamers in a flap over the demise of their favourite title can now find succour in the form of a ‘digital memorial celebration’ (a world first) to commemorate the untimely demise of Flappy Bird. The memorial will take place on 16 February at 12:00 UTC at www.flappyfuneral.com to mark the passing of a title which racked up 50m downloads in its short life. Visitors are encouraged to send in condolences and video tributes or even give its Vietnamese creator Dong Nguyen a tap on the back for all his hard work.
The Drum

 

 

Nokia Lumia 1520 dress to be shown at London Fashion Week
Nokia has teamed up with fashion design duo Fyodor Golan to create a phone dress. The skirt, which has been created especially for Nokia to celebrate London Fashion Week, will feature 35 Nokia Lumia 1520 smartphones and be shown off this week. Created by KIN, it uses static pictures captured by the phone, or live feeds on the 35 screens that adorn it, that allow it to change around the wearer and their day. KIN, who worked with Fyodor Golan, described the dress as “a wearable and experimental piece of technology”.
Pocket Lint

liberty news

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telecoms

Nokia set to pack high-end power into smaller Lumia 930
As if Nokia’s Android-flavoured Normandy handset wasn’t enough to get us excited about the Finns’ MWC 2014 announcements, we’ve now heard about two more. First up there’s the Nokia Lumia 930 which, according to the Twitter tipster @NextLeaks, will have a 4.5-inch 1920 x 1080 display, a 2.2GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, a microSD card slot, a 20 megapixel camera and a 2700 mAh battery.
Tech Radar

 

 

Vodafone in talks to build government assisted €400 million Irish Fibre network
Irish state-owned Electricity Supply Board (ESB) has named Vodafone as the preferred bidder to construct a new €400 million (£328m) fibre network across the country, using existing electrical infrastructure. The British operator was reportedly competing for the deal with BT Ireland, but the company has now entered exclusive negotiations with the ESB.
Tech week Europe

 

 

Alcatel-Lucent unveils new enterprise cloud products ahead of sale
Alcatel-Lucent has launched a new cloud-based communications solution for SMEs and expanded its services for mid-to-large enterprises. The news comes as the France-based vendor announced last week that it has entered into exclusive discussions with China Huaxin for the sale of its enterprise division.
European Communications

 

 

enterprise technology

German official doubtful on binding no-spy deal
The German government’s new coordinator for trans-Atlantic relations says he doubts talks aimed at securing a “no-spy” agreement with the U.S. will produce a deal that’s legally binding. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is seeking such an accord following revelations about surveillance by the National Security Agency, including allegations Merkel’s cellphone was monitored.
Phys.org

VMware and Google put Windows apps on Chromebooks with view to XP migrations
VMware and Google are taking aim at corporate laptops with a new partnership that delivers access to Windows applications on Google’s Chromebook computers, touting it as one way to avoid issues with the Windows XP cut-off deadline. Announced at VMware’s Partner Exchange 2014, the move sees Google’s Chromebooks supported as an endpoint for VMware’s Horizon View virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) platform. Chromebook users will be able to access Windows applications, data and desktops from a web-based application catalogue using VMware’s Blast technology, which can serve up a remote screen onto any HTML5-compliant device.
V3

 

 

Cisco profits plummet for second quarter
Profits for Cisco have fallen dramatically in the past three months, according to figures released by the firm this week. Revenues fell by 8% year on year to $11.2bn in its second quarter results, and profits plummeted by almost 55% to $1.4bn. The latter figure was mostly blamed on a one-off charge of $655m for faulty memory chips shipped within a number of products between 2005 and 2010.
Computer Weekly

 

 

media news

Virgin Media reaches two million TiVo customers
UK operator Virgin Media reached a milestone figure of two million TiVo customers this week, after first launching the service in December 2010. The firm marked the occasion by surprising the two millionth customer, a family in Manchester, with an impromptu visit by Hollyoaks and Dancing on Ice star Jennifer Metcalfe. Virgin Media said that TiVo is the “UK’s fastest growing pay TV service” and along with 2 million installs, received 519 million on-demand TV programme requests last year alone.
Digital TVEurope

 

 

GPs slam NHS England for poor publicity of data grab plan
The Tory-led government has failed to make a good case for its plans to share GP medical records with information that is already stored by NHS England, the Royal College of General Practitioners warned on Wednesday. Patients have, in turn, lost confidence in the so-called care data scheme, said RCGP’s honorary secretary professor Nigel Mathers. His comments come after NHS information chief Tim Kelsey admitted earlier this month that the health service had failed to adequately inform patients about how they can opt out of having their GP medical records shared throughout England.
The Register

 

 

Motorola Mobility CEO Dennis Woodside to join Dropbox as COO
Dropbox, the cloud storage company, has anointed Motorola Mobility’s CEO Dennis Woodside to its team. Woodside will become the first chief operating officer for Dropbox, while Jonathan Rosenberg, formerly head of product management at Google, will take over Woodside’s role at Motorola Mobility.
The Drum

liberty news

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telecoms

Vodafone, Moneygram hook up to create mobe money monster
A deal struck between Vodafone and Moneygram has added 334,000 international agents from whom you can send money to Vodafone’s M-Pesa. This will allow migrant workers in around 200 countries to send funds home to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Fiji, India, Kenya, Lesotho, Mozambique, South Africa and Tanzania.
The Register

 

 

Telenor bullish on emerging market growth after good 2013 results
Telenor has posted strong results for 2013 with both revenues and profits on the rise, and talked up the potential of its emerging market portfolio. Group revenues were up 2.3 percent last year to €12.4 billion following a strong fourth quarter in which sales grew over six percent to €3.3 billion.
European Communications

 

 

Mobile operators face ‘perfect storm’ in 2014
Two new reports have served to highlight the growing pressures faced by Europe’s operators, with one stating that as much as €100 billion ($136 billion) needs to be cut from costs to return the European telecoms sector to sustainable growth, and the other warning that mobile operators across the globe are facing a “perfect storm” of challenges in 2014 and that Europe’s mobile industry has moved “ex-growth”.
Fierce Wireless

 

 

enterprise technology

Citrix team with Cortado Qumu and Talon to improve CloudBridge
Citrix has debuted a product that combines its CloudBridge technology with some kit from three of its certified partners. The CloudBridge CSX Solution is designed to simplify the adoption of cloud services at the branch office, the company claims.
Cloud Pro

 

 

PayPal rival Strip aims for the currency crown with expansion
Stripe, the online payments firm started by two Irish brothers in their mid-20s and valued at $1.75bn (£1.06bn) last month, has expanded its payment services from four to over 130 currencies.
City AM

 

 

Intel loses another crown
Chipzilla once had a reputation as the top Silicon Valley dealmaker buying everything that moved and assimilating it into its glorious collective. But now, according to Bloomberg  the new Borg on the block is Google and Intel is just a Kazon. Google has executed more deals than any company in the world over the past three years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg through January.
TechEye

 

 

media news

Twitter planning to redesign profile pages similar to Facebook?
Twitter is thought to be testing a brand new design on its profile pages similar to that of Facebook and Google+. The overhaul has appeared on a limited number of select profiles, as the microblogging site quietly tests the redesign.
Digital Spy

 

 

Facebook finally cuts through the noise with Paper
With a publicity rollout that resembles an iPhone commercial and a swipe-driven interface that looks nothing like its clunky legacy app, Facebook’s Paper deserves to succeed where the platform’s legacy news feed fails.
The Guardian

 

 

Oculus Rift lets Topshop fans experience virtual reality catwalk
To celebrate London Fashion Week, retailer Topshop is collaborating with 3D agency Inition to allow fans of the brand to experience a virtual front-row seat at a fashion show.
Wired

liberty news

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telecoms

Vodafone joins chase for ONO deal
Vodafone has approached cable company ONO’s owners about a potential acquisition as the Spanish cable provider discusses an initial public offering or a sale, reports Bloomberg. A bid by Vodafone would need to be in the range of €7 to €8 billion to win the board’s backing, based on feedback from recent investor meetings for a share sale, a source told Bloomberg.
Global Telecoms Business

 

 

Gusto Telecom starts ‘massive’ expansion
Firm to double operational space with move to new premises, with plans to triple staff numbers before the end of the year. Gusto Telecom is to treble staff and relocate to a new 20,000 square foot office and warehouse as part its “massive” expansion plans this year. The accessory manufacturer and distributor is switching from Coventry, its home since its formation in 2012, to a new complex double the size in Banbury.
Mobile News

 

 

EU network tech boss: Europe to take the lead on 5G
At the 5G@Europe Summit on Monday, the head of network tech at the EC’s DG for Comms Networks, Content & Technology, Thibaut Kleiner, said Europe would “lead” the way with 5G, leading to growth in the IT sector and the economy at large. The Munich event was heavily sponsored by Huawei and while panel members included representatives from French telecom and networking company Alcatel-Lucent and NSN, panels were led by Huawei reps and only Huawei fielded individual speakers.
The Register

 

enterprise technology

 

Virgin Atlantic launches Google Glass pilot scheme
Concierge staff in the airline’s Upper Class Wing will be using Google Glass and other wearable technology as part of a six week pilot scheme in an industry first. Staff will use the Glass google to update passengers on their latest flight information, weather and local events at their destination and translate any foreign language information.
The Telegraph

 

 

Icahn backs down on Apple buyback crusade
Activist investor Carl Icahn seems to have abandoned his campaign to pressure Apple into increasing its stock buyback, following recommendations to shareholders from Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. that he should be ignored. Proxy advisory firm Egan-Jones also advised against voting for Icahn’s $50bn buyback idea. Icahn has been laying the pressure on Apple since August 2013, originally asking CEO Tim Cook to raise the company’s original $100bn buyback scheme, as he believed it to be “extremely undervalued”.
Computing

 

 

“The Mask” spying operation targeted 31 countries – including the UK
Security firm Kaspersky Lab has uncovered a spying campaign which infected more than 380 targets and has been running undetected since 2007. Called “The Mask” after a Spanish word – careto – which pops up repeatedly in the malware’s code, the campaign is thought to be the first started by a Spanish-speaking country. The campaign has targeted government agencies, energy companies and activists, in 31 countries including in the UK.
PC Pro

 

 

media news

Flickr celebrates 10th birthday just a week after Facebook
Move over, Facebook. Another site is joining the double-digit club — Flickr. The Yahoo-owned photo-sharing site launched on February 10 2004. A decade after hitting the scene, Flickr now boasts nearly two million groups, and its users share around a million photos every day, the company wrote in a blog post. “It’s exciting for me to celebrate Flickr’s birthday!” co-founder Stewart Butterfield said in a statement.
ITProPortal

 

 

Apple TV adds The Beatles channel to mark 50th anniversary of US debut
Apple has launched a new station on Apple TV dedicated to iconic Liverpudlian rock group The Beatles. The channel has been launched to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the band’s historic appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, which marked their US debut.It highlights footage from The Beatles three consecutive appearances on the variety show and promotes their US albums, recently launched on iTunes for the first time.
Digital Spy

 

 

Ofcom renews ITV, STV, UTV and Channel 5 licenses for 10 years
Ofcom has announced its decision to renew the licenses of ITV, STV, UTV and Channel 5 for a further 10-year period commencing from 1 January 2015. The move prevents the licenses from expiring at the end of the year and dovetails with a separate determination of the areas covered by the individual channel 3 licenses.
The Drum

liberty news

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telecoms

Deutsche Telekom acquires remainder of T-Mobile Czech Republic
German operator group Deutsche Telekom has acquired the 39.23 per cent stake in its Czech subsidiary that it did not already own for €800m. The group said it was a “natural step” to acquire the remaining stake in T-Mobile Czech Republic from a consortium of investors led by private equity group Mid Europa Partners, as it looks to position itself as a Pan-European operator. “The Czech Republic is an important market for Deutsche Telekom due to its size and structure,” said Claudia Nemat, board member for Europe and Technology at Deutsche Telekom.
Telecoms.com

 

 

Vodafone backs Ubuntu – but no sign of smartphone yet
Vodafone has backed Ubuntu, joining an advisory group run by development backer Canonical to bringing the open-source OS to handsets. Canonical’s carrier advisory group allows operators to have a say in Ubuntu’s development on mobile. Three, EE and T-Mobile have already signed up to the group, which consists of 16 operators in total. The group will close to new entrants in July – but the first major Ubuntu Touch phone isn’t expected to appear until next year.
PC Pro

 

 

North Lincolnshire UK begins BDUK and BT superfast broadband rollout
The state aid supported £9.6m Northernlincs Broadband project has named the first communities to benefit from the roll-out of BT’s “high-speed fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) network, which aims to cover 92 per cent of North and North East Lincolnshire in East England by spring 2015. Phase One of the deployment, which has now begun, is expected to be completed by September 2014 and will benefit from last year’s additional funding boost of £1.2 million (here). As usual BT will predominantly focus upon rolling out their up to 80Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology.
ISPreview

 

 

enterprise technology

Barclays customer data pinched by blaggers
UK high street bank Barclays is facing a reported data blag that took customer data and put it into the hands of bounders. According to a report at the Mail on Sunday, a report that the bank has confirmed to The INQUIRER as accurate, Barclays is already talking to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) about this and is glad to have been alerted to the attack. “We are grateful to the Mail on Sunday for bringing this to our attention and we contacted the Information Commission and other regulators on Friday as soon as we were made aware,” it said in a statement.
The Inquirer

 

 

Microsoft offers resources for switching off XP
Two months before Windows XP’s “End of Support” date arrives, MIcrosoft is providing guidance to small and midsize businesses (SMBs) as well as consumers on some of the steps that they can take to avoid the risks of running unsupported software. Efforts include an SMB checklist written by Jay Paulus, director of Windows Small Business Marketing for Microsoft. He cautioned that “businesses still running the old operating system face increased security risks, increased costs and lack of technical support”. Among the biggest challenges facing SMBs are limited IT resources and personnel, argued Paulus. “For many small and medium-sized businesses with little to no IT budget, the process may fall on one employee or the owner themselves and upgrading 5, 25 or 250 computers can seem daunting.”
TechWeek Europe

 

 

UK firms move to cloud in response to ‘bloated’ on-premise systems
UK firms are turning to the cloud as three-quarters of IT directors say their on-premise applications are becoming too “bloated”. However, although cost reduction remains the biggest driver for cloud migrations, many public cloud services are not meeting businesses’ exact needs, according to research. IT services firm Damovo commissioned research among 100 UK IT directors and found that 72 per cent think their on-premise applications are becoming too bloated.
TechWorld

 

 

media news

Facebook allows users to edit their Look Back videos
By now, most Facebook users have taken a stroll down memory lane via their “Look Back” video —a highlights reel from each person’s time on the social network. But if Facebook’s predetermined first moments, most liked posts, and shared photos don’t quite suit your memories, you can now edit the video to your liking. When these makeshift home movies launched this week, in celebration of the site’s 10th birthday, the “Look Back” support page said users could alter their videos via the “Edit Your Movie” button under the player. But that option was not live, until today.
ITProPortal

Airbnb aims to sort #SochiProblems through Twitter
Sochi problems have plagued the headlines over the weekend, with the rings faux-pas which saw only four of the five Olympic Rings light up during the opening ceremony leading to a lot of jokes. However, journalists have also faced other problems, and have taken to Twitter to complain. Lack of rooms and hot water have led to complains from news corporations such as ABC and National Post. However, Airbnb has taken to the social media platform to offer its services.
The Drum

 

 

EE launches tailored ticketing service for UK concerts, comedy and more
UK mobile operator EE has launched EE Tickets, a new portal where customers can sign up to receive recommendations on which gigs and other events to attend. The site, which was announced today, will suggest events and gigs across music, theatre, comedy, sport and family-friendly attractions and is being offered thanks to a partnership with Last Second Tickets. By inputting a little information, it’ll make its suggestions based on where you like to go out and what kind of events you attend generally. You can also set how often you get updates.
The Next Web

liberty news

By | Liberty News | No Comments

telecoms

Telecom Italia lays out TIM Brasil plan, names new chair
Telecom Italia has put a procedure in place that will govern the sale of its TIM Brasil unit, should any sale take place, and has named Aldo Minucci as its new chairman. The announcement came as the Italian incumbent revealed revenue for the full-year 2013 will be “slightly lower” than it had previously predicted, due to a competitive market and regulatory changes. It also cancelled a €3 billion hybrid bond issue. The telco’s presence in Brazil has been the subject of speculation since Spain’s Telefonica, also the owner of a Brazilian mobile operator, first took a stake in Telecom Italia’s parent company Telco in October 2007.
Total Telecom

 

Sky TV and Telecom NZ end deal
Sky TV has announced an end to its deal with Telecom – where its services are re-sold to Telecom customers. Sky Network Television, New Zealand’s dominant pay television operator, will no longer resell its service through Telecom New Zealand, the nation’s largest operator. The migration of customers back to Sky will be completed by the end of May 2014, reports The New Zealand Herald.
Global Telecoms Business

Ericsson acquires TV solutions provider Azuki Systems
Swedish vendor Ericsson has acquired US-based upstart Azuki Systems, a television streaming delivery platform provider. The vendor said that the acquisition strengthens its television and media portfolio and complements Microsoft’s TV unit Mediaroom, which it purchased in April last year. Ericsson said that Azuki’s TV Anywhere solution brings high quality user experience to over-the-top video as well as personalisation, content protection, scalability and reliability. The vendor said Azuki’s technology also enables monetisation options beyond portals and authentication services. In its customer base is cable operators, IPTV providers, mobile network operators and content owners.
Telecoms.com

 

enterprise technology 

Microsoft fixes critical Windows flaws on Patch Tuesday
Microsoft will issue five updates in next week’s Patch Tuesday, two of which are rated critical. The first affects Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 – including RT versions – and Windows Server 2008 and 2012. The second patch targets Microsoft Forefront Protection 2010 for Exchange Server. The flaws could give a hacker remote code execution capabilities.
PC Pro

 

EE rolls out Brightbox fix but it won’t stop packet sniffers, DNS meddlers
EE is rolling out an update to its BrightBox routers to fix a series of vulnerabilities which allowed hackers to access the devices by a simple copy and paste operation. Scott Helme, the security researcher who first discovered the flaws, told El Reg the latest update resolves two of the three most serious problems he found. BrightBox routers are supplied by EE to its broadband and fibre customers. But Helme discovered vulnerabilities that exposed WPA encryption keys, passwords and users’ ISP credentials.
The Register
Google enters video conferencing market with Chromebox for meetings kit
Google has unveiled a video conferencing suite of tools for businesses, including hardware built by Asus, called Chromebox for meetings, as it continues to push its offerings in the enterprise market. The launch sees Google entering the video conferencing space by bringing numerous enterprise features to its Hangouts tool, and offering the necessary hardware for firms to host video meetings for up to 15 people.
V3

 

media news
California is expected to enforce adoption of a smartphone killswitch
We have heard about various politicians pushing anti-theft solutions for smartphones before. However a new legal move by the state of California could really push adoption of smartphone and tablet ‘kill switches’. New legislation is expected to be successfully introduced in the state at a hearing on Friday that will require a mechanism where stolen phones and tabs are to be able to be rendered useless. “With robberies of smartphones reaching an all-time high, California cannot continue to stand by when a solution to the problem is readily available,” Democrat State Senator Mark Leno of California, said in a statement.
Hexus.net

 

eBay founder to launch Snowden-themed magazine
Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire founder of eBay, has announced his intention to start publishing a new Snowden-themed online magazine from next week. The launch edition is said to focus on classified government documents stolen by Snowden and will be edited by Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, two journalists with close links to the fugitive whistle blower.
The Drum

 

Spotify Premium membership offer for Times subscribers
Subscribers to the Times and Sunday Times will be offered a free year’s membership to Spotify Premium as part of the latest deal struck by News UK to enhance its paywall offering. Under the exclusive deal, which Spotify said is the first it has done of this nature with any media owner, the newspaper publisher is offering a free year’s membership to Spotify Premium, the music service’s £9.99 a month service, as part of the package available to subscribers to its two quality titles.
The Guardian

liberty news

By | Liberty News | No Comments

BT backs down over increase in phone box call charges of up to 650 per cent
BT has backed down after hiking phone box call costs following a Daily Mirror investigation. The telecoms giant has promised a full refund to credit and debit card customers who were hit by increases of up to 650 per cent. We can reveal that last month it quietly put up the cost of a phone booth call to landlines by 441 per cent for anyone using a bank card to pay for the call. On January 6, the charge rocketed from £1.20 for the first three minutes to £6.50. And it whacked up the cost for every minute thereafter from 20p to £1.50 – an astronomical increase of 650 per cent.
Daily Mirror

 

Global mobile traffic to grow 11 fold by 2018, says Cisco
Global mobile traffic is expected to grow nearly 11 fold over the next four years, according to research conducted by networking kit vendor Cisco. In the firm’s latest annual Visual Networking Index (VNI) it found that global mobile traffic is expected to grow from 18 exabytes per year at the end of 2013 to 18 exabytes per month by 2018; equivalent to 190 exabytes per year. Cisco explained that this amount of data is equivalent to four trillion YouTube videos and is 190 times more IP traffic, fixed and mobile, than was generated in 2000.
Telecoms.com

 
Vodafone revenues hit by tough European markets
Vodafone today gave its strongest signal yet that it is considering a game-changing move into pay-TV in Britain as the mobiles giant seeks growth after UK revenues tumbled for a seventh consecutive quarter. Chief executive Vittorio Colao said: “We are watching the space. Today, there’s not an urgent need to be there. It could be different in six to seven months.”
London Evening Standard

 

enterprise technology

 

Google does EU deal to avoid competition fines
Google has cut a deal with the European Commission over its alleged abuse of its web search monopoly that means it will avoid a costly competition trial. Joaquin Almunia, the vice president of the Commission, said he would push the agreement through without a technical consultation, angering Google rivals, including Microsoft. If the case had gone to court and Google had lost it would be liable for fines of up to a tenth of its $50bn (£30.7bn) global turnover.
Daily Telegraph

 

Gartner figures show PC market in continued decline
The overall PC market continued to decline in the UK according to the latest shipment figures from Gartner, although Lenovo made gains. The PC industry has seen a global decline, with consumers buying tablets rather than desktop or notebook PCs.  Sony has announced it is selling its Vaio PC business to Japan Industrial Partners, marking its exit from the PC market.
Computer Weekly
Bank of England warns UK financial sector unprepared for cyber attacks
The Bank of England has warned that the country’s financial sector is still woefully vulnerable to hackers, despite positive work by the UK government. The Bank of England revealed that a number of key weaknesses were discovered in financial organisations’ cyber defences during the Waking Shark II exercises in its Desktop Cyber Exercise: Report to participants. Waking Shark II was an initiative backed by the Bank of England, the Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority, designed to stress test the financial sector’s cyber defences in November 2013. Major banks including Barclays and RBS took part.
V3

 

media news

 

Twitter has 184 million mobile users but it shouldn’t neglect desktop
Twitter’s user growth rate slows, and stock prices are down 18 per cent, but it is by no means struggling.  Twitter has reported that 184 million active users come from mobile, up from 37 per cent compared to a year ago and accounting for 76 per cent of overall users.
Mobile Entertainment

 

OTT and cord shaving ‘not a threat to broadcast model’
The rise of OTT and ‘cord shaving’, cutting down on pay TV services, will not kill the broadcast model, according to 79.6 per cent of TV and media firms, polled by Informa Telecoms and Media. The global survey of “key players in the TV and media market”, conducted by Informa Telecoms & Media ahead of the TV Connect conference in March, found that 67.3 per cent believed that Netflix would not be the dominant OTT player in five years’ time. Instead, 41.7 per cent predicted Apple would be the dominant player, followed by Amazon/Lovefilm at 39.6 per cent with Google in third place with 16.7 per cent.
DigitalTV Europe

 

Those who click on performance display ads do 51 per cent more organic search clicks than those who don’t
On average across all industries, 65 per cent of the consumers recruited through performance display did not click on paid search ads, research from Criteo has found. Searchers who click on performance display ads do 51 per cent more organic search clicks and 35 per cent more paid search clicks resulting in an increase in natural search on average.
The Drum

Liberty Communications announces senior US/North America hire

By | Agency News | No Comments

 

Liberty Communications, the integrated digital communications consultancy, today announced that it has hired Michael Draznin as senior consultant to create and drive high-impact marketing and communications programs in the US and North America. He joins the team in response to client demand and  the agency’s continuing rapid expansion in the region.

 

Draznin has over 20 years’ experience leading high-impact communications and marketing programmes within the technology space and deep expertise in financial, ad tech, and professional services sectors.

 

His background includes heading global corporate communications for three of the largest marketing services agencies in the world; leading the rebrand of the world’s largest strategic branding firm; and leading communications strategy for one of the largest global advertising agency mergers in history.

 

He has been involved in several IPOs, more than 15 M&A transactions, several divestitures, and numerous VC and PE fundings. In addition, he has done extensive work with technology, biotech, and usability companies in China, India and other BRIC regions.

 

Dee Gibbs, CEO, global, Liberty Communications said: “Michael’s experience and knowledge of the North America market is a real value-add for clients and to help strengthen the agency foundations we have put in place.

 

“We’ve worked hard to identify the right people and make sure those we bring on board embody the proactive and nimble way of working that Liberty is recognised for.  We look forward to Michael’s contributions with our clients, new business development, and continuing to grow our brand in the US and North America.”

 

Draznin commented, “I am really excited to be a part of what Liberty is building and I’m really looking forward to helping drive the agency’s further expansion.”

 

As part of Liberty’s global push, Dee Gibbs has also assumed the role of CEO, Global to support the expansion and breadth of Liberty’s capabilities globally. Liberty is continuing to expand its East and West Coast operations. Draznin lives in Manhattan and will split his time between New York and San Francisco. He will be working alongside Dee and as part of the US leadership team. 

 

Context is key for Liberty Communications and Emagine International

By | Agency News | No Comments

 

Integrated digital communications consultancy Liberty Communications today announced that it has won duties for the launch of Emagine International, a specialty provider of real-time contextual customer marketing software and managed services, in the U.S., North America, and Europe.

Emagine International

 

Emagine works with communication service providers (CSPs) worldwide to reduce customer churn and increase revenue through its proprietary Adaptive Contextual Marketing platform. The result for CSPs is true “Marketing to One®.”

 

Liberty’s remit includes positioning Emagine and its senior executives as thought leaders in campaign management, customer value management and contextual marketing. Additionally, the agency will build awareness of Emagine’s expertise in mobile.

 

“Technology is now at the point where it can live up to the promise of one-to-one marketing made in the ‘80s. The market has moved beyond segments to the individual, making campaign management all the more relevant,” explained Dave Peters, Emagine International’s CEO and founder. “Combine this with the increasing need for CSPs to differentiate themselves in a saturated marketplace and this is a great time for us to be talking about what we do and how we can help Operators increase revenue and improve their customer experience. We’re really pleased to be working with Liberty to do that.”

 

“Emagine International has been creating best practice campaigns for 15 years. The way it works with its customers, investing time and effort to create trusted relationships for the long term, is very similar to the way our agency works with clients. We’re looking forward to making this partnership a tremendous success,” said Dee Gibbs, founder and global CEO of Liberty Communications.